On a rather autumnal afternoon Unity played host to Jen Shieff’s lunchtime launch of The Vanishing Act – a standalone sequel to her Ngaio Marsh Award finalist The Gentlemen’s Club.
Unity’s own Tilly Lloyd donned the role of chief interviewer as original chair Annie Ruth could not make it on the day.
The Vanishing Act is substantial historical New Zealand crime fiction that’s full of message. It is crime writing re-envisaged through a feminist and lesbian lens. Even with its 60s Auckland setting, it will ring true for modern folk; especially those following and advocating the #metoo movement. As Annie Ruth (being channelled through Tilly) wonderfully stated “…lesbian relationships are core within the book and treated as much a part of the norm as heterosexual ones”. It addresses several layers of crime – some now decriminalised and some becoming re-criminalised – to show that prostitution is not a heinous crime as so often depicted.
Shieff delivers a ripping whodunnit with textured, multifaceted characters that many will relate to.
The Vanishing Act, is available in store and at Unity Books Online now.